A new central kitchen


The central kitchen is an essential service yet unknown to Choletaises and Choletais. Nearly 3,000 meals go out every day from this establishment to the various school restaurants in the City, the leisure centers of Cholet Animation Enfance, the CISPA green classes, Early Childhood structures, autonomy residences and beneficiaries of the home delivery of meals from the Adomi Facil service.

A building that no longer meets expectations

The central kitchen, built in 1989, has become obsolete. The future equipment, with a production capacity of 4,000 meals per day, will make it possible to meet our desire for quality food, by integrating a global educational approach. With a cost of the works amounting to 5.4 million euros, the new central kitchen is, with the project of the Salle des Fêtes, one of the biggest investments of this beginning of the mandate.” Gilles Bourdouleix, Mayor of Cholet and President of the Agglomeration of Cholet.

Built in 1989, the current building no longer meets expectations, both functionally and technically. “Given the complexity of a rehabilitation and the need for continuity of public service, this equipment is destined to be demolished.“, explains Frédéric Pavageau, Deputy Mayor for Finance and New Structural Development Projects. With a production capacity of 4,000 meals a day, delivered cold to around fifty sites, the future central kitchen will be a performance equipment.”With this project, our objective is to have a modern establishment with functionalities that meet the new obligations, in particular those of the Egalim law applicable on January 1, 2022.“, specifies Olivier Baguenard, Deputy Mayor in charge of Education.

A new regulatory framework therefore, but also new needs and new practices: a vegetable room to better work with raw products (peeling, cutting, slicing), a hot and cold dietary room, an adapted waste room or even a kitchen and a garden pedagogical for the reception of groups of children. “We want to increase our actions on the need to eat well, aimed at children and different audiences“, adds Olivier Baguenard.

The end of plastic trays

As part of the development of the project, the Municipality had initially chosen the use of bio-degradable containers. However, after the opinion of the National Food Council, it turns out that these containers are made entirely or partly of plastic. The choice was therefore made to use exclusively stainless steel containers, an inert material that is reusable and durable. In total, approximately 7,000 stainless steel gastronorm containers are needed. “This new orientation has an impact on the initial project, particularly in terms of operation. We had to review storage, washing, and the entire packaging process. Result: an overall capital gain of 1.4 million euros“, says Frédéric Pavageau.

The initial program of the operation has therefore been reviewed, and provides in particular for:

  • expansion of premises;
  • the addition of a trolley washer;
  • modification of the packaging material;
  • the addition of a set of carts and shelves for the storage of bins and lids;
  • change from conveyor dishwasher.

Despite everything, the City anticipates a legal obligation which sets the deadline at 2025 and thus confirms its desire to build new facilities in line with its public health and sustainable development policy.



Non-contractual visuals – © Michot Architectes


Particular attention has been paid to the working comfort of the 22 agents dedicated to the preparation of meals: ergonomics of the various workstations, high-tech equipment, natural light in the workshops… With a surface area of ​​nearly 1,400 m², the building will comply with the RE 2020 environmental regulations. Integrated stormwater management has been preferred.
The surroundings of the site of the future central kitchen will have a more natural infiltration of rainwater, thus limiting the artificialization of the soil and illustrating the Municipality’s desire to preserve the environment as well as possible.

Did you know ?

Welcoming a child during the meridian break costs on average €14.54 (in 2019). The City, for its part, only asks parents €2.93 on average. The difference is paid directly by the Collectivity.

What does the Egalim law say?

Food, plastic waste, animal welfare… several provisions of the so-called Egalim law (law no. 2018-938 of October 30, 2018 for the balance of commercial relations in the agricultural and food sector and healthy, sustainable and accessible food for all) relate to school catering. In addition to these obligations, there are those of the Climate and Resilience law.

Concretely, here is what the Collectivity must plan for its collective catering:

  • a vegetarian menu per week (already set up);
  • diversification of protein sources;
  • fight against food waste (already implemented);
  • 50% supply of sustainable products including 20% ​​of products from organic farming (already implemented);
  • prohibition of plastic trays (cooking, reheating, serving) and single-use disposable tableware (planned in the central kitchen project);
  • informing guests about the share of sustainable and quality products (in progress)

Pleasure on the plate

Currently, it is already in the Cormier area, at the central municipal kitchen, that the 2,020 meals served each day (on average) in the public schools of Cholet and Puy-Saint-Bonnet are prepared. The City has entrusted this mission to the company Sodexo until 2023. Together, they wanted to go further than the simple supply of meals and anticipate the new provisions imposed by the Egalim law, applicable from January 1, 2022. Through a notebook demanding loads and scrupulous control, the City imposes on its service provider a high quality approach that prioritizes local supplies and fresh, seasonal products.

Egalim law – the 10 good points of school catering:

  • Label Rouge meats for stir-fries and Label Rouge poultry;
  • filleted fish, guaranteed without bones;
  • organic bread with every meal since 2010;
  • vegetables and fruit: carrots, tomatoes, white cabbage, red cabbage, cucumber, beetroot, celery, zucchini, radish, peppers, fennel, green salads, apples, organic pears from local producers and organic bananas and kiwis;
  • organic fruit purées;
  • organic cereals and legumes and Camargue PGI rice;
  • organic fromage blanc / organic yoghurts from local producers;
  • organic cheeses, AOP or AOC;
  • one vegetarian menu per week;
  • exclusion of GMOs and palm oil.

And because eating well is above all taking pleasure in eating well, the City of Cholet has developed a whole approach to education in taste: themed meals, events such as “My school, my menu”, culinary workshops , visits to the central kitchen… Objectives: for the child to be able to go beyond the “I like it / I don’t like it”, to taste and appreciate. With the results: less food waste and better knowledge and support of the child by the teams.

The new central kitchen

» 4000 meals per day
» 7000 stainless steel gastro containers
» 1400m²
» 12 months of work
» €5.4 million investment

Leave a Comment